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The Deaf Frog

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The deaf frog – we have all heard the story of the deaf frog who climbed the pole and reached the top of it without falling, just because he was not able to listen to the warnings or discouraging shouts by his friends and peers. He reached to the top because he could (read did) not listen to the pessimistic suggestions of his friends that “It could not be done”. Though this story is a very simple one but the message is very profound and leaves you thinking hard.

Such was the impact on Jassi’s mind when he heard the story for the first time. He was a mentally weak child born to not so educated parents. His father was a seasoned businessman and had a fair reputation for being an expert in his field and they lead a fairly comfortable life – neither too rich nor too poor. Jassi was their only son but unfortunately, his mental development was slow as compared to other children of his age. He understood things but slowly. He learned things but he was a slow learner. And as usual, when one does not conform to the so-called rules of the society, the society takes it as its right to ridicule and mock him. Jassi was also treated in the same fashion. He had no friends in school and all his classmates used to mock at him “Look, here comes the slow motion, you crack a joke and he will laugh next month”. Though Jassi was used to it, he felt very hurt. He was so hurt that he did not feel like going to school at all. In fact, he did not feel like stepping outside his home. He just wanted to stay at home and do nothing. His cousins would make fun of him and they would not include him in any of their games. During family functions, he was the center of all jokes and fun making. It was very very humiliating for him and he used to cry after returning from every function.

And one day, when his teacher told this story in the class and while other children forgot it once the period was over, the story left a deep impact on him.

“Yes, God had been unfair to me with His blessings but I also have done nothing to improve my condition,” thought Jassi. And on top of it, he was paying too much attention to what others were saying about him and he was allowing their opinions to get rooted in his mind. He decided that if he were to reach to the top and beat the rest, he had to be deaf, not literally, but he had to turn a deaf ear to everyone. Over the next few years, he tried his level best to not to listen to others and focused hard on studies.

The results were encouraging but the progress was very slow. But he did not give up. After school, he started spending some time with his father helping him in his business and he enjoyed his time with him at work. Sometimes, his customers tried to make fool of him, but he would not let them do so. He was a slow learner but he was not foolish. Slowly, his customers started acknowledging his presence at the shop and at times he was able to manage the show even without his father being around.

He started training his mind at mathematics – business was all about quick calculations. Slowly & steadily, he became very good at numbers and people started noticing the change in him. So after class 12, he decided to do part-time graduation and spend more time with his father in his business. While his classmates pursued higher studies, he spent his time learning the tricks of trade & life. Another three years in business and he was well versed in all the nuances of business, in fact, many times he surprised his father with deals that he struck. A weak mind was slowly starting to blossom.

He still did not listen to what people said about him and he preferred to be a deaf frog. One day he expressed his desire to expand their business in the neighboring towns. The profit was higher and nobody was servicing those towns. His father was not in favor but he had to yield in front of the deaf frog. Jassi, readied himself to manage this independently. He started touring in the adjoining towns. He himself was surprised at the potential that these towns offer. People were much simpler and were ok to work on cash terms. In a span of one Year, business tripled and so did profits. His father was a happy man and the relatives & friends also started noticing the progress in their lifestyle and heart in heart they knew that it was all because of Jassi’s efforts. Jassi was now a young man and it was time to get hitched. All those who bullied and mocked him had to eat their words when Jassi got engaged to a simple and a very good looking girl – Priya. Jassi was in the seventh heaven – he could not have asked for more. And then started their courtship period.

Jassi was very fond of driving and they went on long drives in his new Maruti Zen. His friends and relatives jealously talked about them behind their backs. The world is such – it will mock you if you are a laggard and it will envy you and not think good about you if you go ahead of them. Jassi did not pay any attention to them. He was used to all this and was developing into a perfect deaf frog.

For his business purpose, Jassi had to frequently go on tour for 2-3 days in a week. This week he was in no mood to go because that would mean missing his date with Priya. He thought of making some excuse to his father and cancel the trip but then he decided otherwise. After having a long late night call with Priya & commitment of an early return, Jassi boarded the early morning bus for Hapur, an upcountry town in Western UP. The moment the bus started, Jassi feel into a deep sleep only to be woken up by a jerk.

The bus had broken down some 50 kms from Hapur and the conductor was asking everyone to get down so that he could make some alternate arrangements. It was hot outside, so Jassi thought of waiting under the shade of a tree till time some arrangement was made by the conductor. “Good morning “he texted his fiancée and waited for a reply. “ Very Good Morning “replied Priya and then began a series of exchanges of messages filled with love. Suddenly he heard shouts and cries and raised his head and he froze in his place after what he saw. There was a big truck moving speedily like a drunken elephant in his direction.

Despite all his efforts, Jassi could not move even a single inch from his place. He could hear people screaming at him to move away and run for safety but Jassi just could not lift his feet. The truck had lost balance and the driver seemed to be unable to control it. “Bang!! “ The truck rammed into the tree taking Jassi along with it and suddenly it was all dark for Jassi.

When he opened his eyes, he found himself in a hospital ward and the only thing that he remembered was the horrified expression of the truck driver. Suddenly, he remembered the accident and looked around. He saw his father having a very serious discussion with the doctor. “Thank God he is here, “thought Jassi and he tried to get up but a sharp pain ran through his body and he could not lift himself. “ Papa, pls come here “he cried and tried to get up but he could not. Something was missing and to his horror, he suddenly realized that he could not feel his left hand. He quickly looked at his left side and his heart sank. The portion below the elbow of his left arm was missing and the entire upper portion was heavily bandaged.

He looked at his father whose eyes were full of tears and then he looked at the doctor who was looking at him with a sorry expression. “ Sorry Beta, the left arm was badly crushed and we had no option but to amputate it, ”said the doctor in an apologetic manner. Jassi broke and started crying hysterically – how could God be so unfair to him. Just when all the pieces in life were about to fall in place, some unknown force destroyed everything. He felt so useless and dejected. He thought that his friends and relatives were right – he was a useless and good for nothing fellow. He even thought of putting an end to such a hopeless life but then the thought of Priya and some hope rekindled in his mind. He asked his father about Priya. “I have informed them about this unfortunate incident, they would be coming soon, ”said his father. Jassi waited and waited but no one came. No phone call, no message, no visit. He tried to reach Priya but her number was unavailable.

Then one day his father broke another news to him“Got a message from Priya’sfather. They have called off the engagement. They said that they are sorry but they will not be able to go ahead with this relationship”. The last hope, the last thread on which Jassi was hanging also swept away and he cried & cried till the tears dried away. Crying helps you lighten your mind and tears wash away the dust of unhappiness from your eyes, leaving them clear to look at the future.Like the deaf frog, Jassi decided to come back & again fight with life. He came home. All relatives and friends &neighbours came to see him and offered sympathies.” Oh, that’s really unfortunate. How will he carry out his simple daily activities? Sorry, his engagement broke. Who will marry him now? God has been very unkind to you people.” He got to hear everything that was demotivating and demeaning. Rarely in this world will anyone lend you a helping hand in times of distress, but yes they will definitely make all efforts to keep you reminded of your pain. But Jassi did not need anybody’s help or sympathies.

He remembered the deaf frog. After the stitches healed, he told his father that he would be joining back at business. His father was more than happy to have Jassi back, not at business but to see his son wanting to bounce back at life. He offered to take him to the shop but Jassi refused and said that he would come by his car. His father was horrified and tried to reason with him but Jassi being Jassi, he clearly refused to take any help, even from his father.

Life without a left arm is not easy – Suddenly managing even the simplest of things, like tying a shoelace or pulling up pants or buttoning the shirt became a herculean task but Jassi did not give up. He practiced hard, made some changes in his lifestyle to overcome the handicap. He trained himself to drive the car with his right hand.Everybody asked him to change to an automatic variant but all such suggestions fell on deaf ears. In order to further build strength in his right arm, he started playing badminton and surprisingly after a few months he was playing better than his peers. He practiced so hard, that people were astonished at the way he drove the car with his right hand. In fact, he drove better than many of the normal drivers.

He could not control what life threw at him but he could definitely control his reaction to them. And soon life was business as usual and Jassi was again back to his normal self. Yes, at times his heart pained at the thought of Priya but then he felt that it was her bad luck, not his. His upcountry tours resumed and business started getting better month after month. Once again, his relatives and friends were proved wrong. After a few months, happiness again knocked their doors and a proposal of marriage came from one of their business partners. The girl and his father were very much impressed by Jassi’s never say never die attitude and his good nature. The girl’s father saw a spark in Jassi and was confident that he would become a successful businessman one day.

His daughter also liked Jassi and his spirit. Both families agreed and they got hitched. Life came back in Jassi’s life and once again he was dating his fiancée and once again the long romantic drives were back. At Jassi’s marriage, everyone was praising his spirit and attitude towards life and everyone wished him good luck. But Jassi true to his usual self-had became deaf to all sorts of criticism or appreciation. He followed his heart and did what his heart told him to do.

The marriage proved very lucky for Jassi and his wife also helped him in his business. The business grew manifolds and soon they moved into an independent bungalow, upgraded to a better car and started building a professional team to manage the growing business. A local daily even ran a series on Jassi’s rise to success and he was called by many institutes to talk about his life and motivate people. Jassi even started a small initiative to help train people who had lost their limbs, to lead a normal life and this was highly appreciated by everyone.

“The slow motion” child had outsmarted everyone just because he refused to listen to the usual demotivating & discouraging stuff the world threw at him. He turned into a deaf frog and climbed the pole which others thought to be an impossible feat.

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One Comment

  1. Anindya Das

    September 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Heart touching and really a great learning for all..

    Reply

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